Mayor Ron Pappas took the first steps of fulfilling his destiny toward becoming emperor of Waxhaw on Feb. 9 as he gave a speech touting the town’s accomplishments since he took office.
Emperor Pappas called out people in the press and on social media for trying to deceive his kingdom, but he did not address his selfish desire to award himself and commissioners an extra year in office without hearing from the public.
Two weeks ago, the board approved a resolution 4-1 to request legislators move town elections to even years. That by itself is OK, but they added a condition that it’s contingent on everybody getting an extra year.
This issue goes beyond Waxhaw.
If you are a citizen of Union County, I encourage you to email state legislators Dean Arp, Mark Brody, David Willis, Todd Johnson and Paul Newton to let them know that if your community decides to move its municipal elections to even years that the terms of sitting leaders are staggered so they don’t get extra time in office. You deserve a voice.
That’s my concern. This issue was discussed in private among Waxhaw leaders and slid into a consent agenda with routine items.
“Going forward, I just think we need to be a little bit more thoughtful on some of the things we put on the consent agenda and if there’s something that we think might cause a stir in the public that we go ahead and put it on as a regular agenda item,” Commissioner Tracy Wesolek told colleagues during the Jan. 29 retreat.
Amen, but let’s go further.
Two-by-two meetings are fine when elected leaders are trying to get clarity on the nuts and bolts of complicated issues like the budget, but they should not be tools to bypass quorum, discuss strategy and establish consensus behind closed doors.
Discuss issues publicly if you want to generate interest in your town government.
Emperor Pappas chalked all this up to being the first step in a legal process granted to them by the state.
I have seen local governments, however, take a moral high ground. The Monroe City Council, for example, has had opportunities to legally condemn unkempt homes, but members chose to reach out to the property owners and work with them on a more humane resolution.
The citizens of Waxhaw deserve better. They deserve an opportunity to decide if they like the direction leaders are taking them. Let them vote.
Emails of state legislators
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